Dutch ‘unwilling’ find incentive to work.

    Disabled people and drug abusers, like the rest of the population,
    have to look for a job for 20 hours a week in order to qualify for
    benefits in the Netherlands.

    Yvonne Bieshaar, managing director of social services in the Dutch
    town of Den Bosch, told delegates the policy was part of a new
    social security system introduced over the past five years.

    She said that people unwilling to try to find work would receive no
    state support.

    She added that the old system had made people too dependent on
    benefits and caused them to become socially excluded.

    The system was also expensive and open to abuse.

    Under the new arrangements, private profit-making companies bid for
    government contracts to run welfare services but are paid only if
    their services improve clients’ situations.

    Companies have to produce quarterly progress reports and ensure
    that an independent complaints procedure is available for clients.

    The government also conducts occasional investigations into client
    satisfaction.

    Asked whether the system was sophisticated enough to ensure it
    correctly separated those who were unwilling to work from those who
    were unable, Bieshaar said there had been no complaints.

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